IMSA Says Market Changes Warrant State Regulatory Improvements

IMSA, the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association, has joined other insurance leaders in calling for improving state regulation of the industry so consumers can have more confidence in, and a better understanding of, what they are buying.

In a letter to Kathleen Keenan, president of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), IMSA executive director Brian Atchinson praised the efforts of NCOIL and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to examine how states carry out their market conduct and compliance oversight responsibilities. Atchinson wrote, “There is a compelling need for greater harmonization and consistency by the states as they perform these functions.”

He pledged to work with the two insurance groups and noted that some progress has been made in increasing synchronization and cooperation among state regulators.

Atchinson said, however, that regulation would be more effective “if the states enhance their collaboration and cooperation while harmonizing standards and processes.” Regulators could benefit by more closely coordinating and applying market conduct standards and consumers could benefit from easily understandable rules governing the insurance products they want to buy.

Atchinson added, “State oversight of market conduct remains an inefficient, largely uncoordinated and unnecessarily expensive process in which regulators use the NAIC Examination Handbook as a guide but still apply many state-specific approaches and requirements.”

Atchinson said regulation would be more effective “if the states enhance their collaboration and cooperation while harmonizing standards and processes.”